Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday there is no question that the person or persons behind the failed bombing attempt in Times Square intended to spread terror across New York.
Investigators have some good leads in addition to the videotape of a middle-aged man who could be seen shedding his shirt near the SUV where the bomb was found, the attorney general said in remarks to reporters.
Holder said it is too early in the probe to say whether the incident was of foreign or domestic origin and that it was too early to designate it as a terrorist incident.
Nonetheless, whoever was behind the effort "intended to spread terror across New York" and if the device had exploded, "we certainly would have seen a substantial loss of life," said Holder.
Holder said that the American people "should be assured that we are vigilant" and remain determined to stop any potential attack.
"That having been said, New York remains a target," said the attorney general.
On a separate matter, the Gulf Coast oil spill, the attorney general said he sent his own team of top Justice Department officials to Louisiana last week to "ensure that BP is held liable" for the company's role in the disaster.
He spoke following remarks in Arlington, Va., at a conference on human trafficking.
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